Are The Parents of School-Shooter Ethan Crumbley to Blame?

School Shooting iStock-1282013865
Are parents to blame for school shooters? Public opinion says yes. But what about the law? IMG iStock-1282013865

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- As this correspondent reads accounts of the latest media-inspired school shooting, there was an obvious theme: blame the parents. Convict them before any evidence is presented in court. Indict them with crimes seldom used in such circumstances. Declare they are fugitives in a “manhunt”.

This is all depressingly familiar. The media smells gun control blood in the water. They launch a narrative: all is the fault of the parents because they own guns and bought one for their child. The narrative advances their political agenda and masks their own liability.  The Constitutional rights of gun owners, especially of white gun owners, are not considered worthy of protection. The mother, Jennifer Crumbley, even supported President Trump in 2016!

How dare she!

The Trump-support letter, supposedly a blog post written in November of 2016, is claimed by some to be a hoax. Is it? This correspondent does not know. Time will help clear the confusion.

This correspondent does not know all the details of what happened. No one does at this point. A narrative is being formed and pushed with little fact and little due process. The Michigan prosecutor has announced four counts of involuntary manslaughter charges for each parent, with very little investigation, and lots of publicity. The public is inflamed.  The sheriff in the county says this is not the way things are usually done.

The Court of Public Opinion

Calls for harsh punishment of the Crumbley parents is common on the Internet.

Involuntary manslaughter in Michigan appears to be very close to criminally negligent homicide, generally. The theory appears to be that it was criminally negligent for the parents to have allowed the 15-year-old to have access to the pistol used, and/or perhaps, not to have taken him from school or to have searched his backpack after being shown a disturbing drawing asking for help and depicting guns, a bullet, and a person shot.

There seems to have been ample reasonable suspicion for the school officials to search the 15-year-old student’s backpack. This is enhanced by the fact the parents insisted on leaving the 15-year-old in the school, creating more reason to search the backpack. Now we learn there were no prior disciplinary problems; the 15-year-old convinced the school and parents the drawing was for a video game he was designing. He convinced them he was not suicidal or homicidal.

We do not know if the pistol used was in the backpack or hidden somewhere in the school. The parents knew the 15-year-old lived in their home. They knew they had firearms in their home, including the pistol which was used to murder.

They may or may not have believed it to be secured. There is no statistical evidence laws requiring guns to be secured from teenagers reduce crime. The details are important. Those who want a disarmed public are using the incident to push for more laws. More laws are almost always the wrong response. In these tragedies, there is an unfortunate tendency to rush to judgement. It is absolutely part of the rights of parents and the accused to not make statements without counsel being present.

More facts will emerge.  A wait of a week or a month is reasonable to allow some shakeout of facts. A trial is the ultimate arbiter, as was seen in the Rittenhouse case. We should be working to dampen trial by Media rather than exacerbating it.

A rush to judgement comes with a high risk of injustice.

Much has been made of the mother texting her son to “Don’t do it” after the shooting. It could as easily have been a panicked cry to prevent suicide as anything else. This mass murder is a terrible tragedy that came extremely close to being prevented, making it all the more forceful.

If Only… If Only…

There are more forces in play than the Constitutionally protected presence of firearms in our homes. Media contagion is real, and a strong, perhaps dominant thread in school mass murder. Teens in crises see a way to escape life in a manner that will immortalize them in the media.

The more people they kill, the more media attention they get. It is a horrible but obvious way to promote mass killing. Could slightly different decisions by either the parents or the school have stopped this event before it started? It appears so. Does this rise to the level of negligent homicide? It is far too early to know. It is an unusual charge, especially this early.

We all need to back off, take a deep breath, and allow for due process and a measured investigation that respects the rights of all concerned. Put yourself in the position of the parents of the child who killed several other students. It is a horrible position to be in, notwithstanding the worse condition of the parents whose children were killed and wounded. There is no evidence the parents of the murderer condoned or encouraged the killing of innocents. It is not illegal or immoral for parents to buy a teen a pistol and teach them to shoot it.

Parents have always been responsible, at least to some extent, for the conduct of minor children.  This is a nightmare for the parents of the killer. It is a terrible nightmare for the parents of the victims. When we feel our emotions rising; when we want to take direct and harsh action; it is the time to step back, call for due process and proper procedure, careful investigation, and measured thought. To do less is to be controlled by those who use any “crises” to accomplish what they otherwise could not do.

Government by Crises is Bad Government.

The narrative being pushed by the prosecutor and the Media may not be close to reality. We have been deceived several times in recent history. Consider Ferguson Missouri and the fake “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative. Consider the attack on innocent George Zimmerman by Trayvon Martin. Consider the Media attempt at lynching Kyle Rittenhouse.

We have not heard the parent’s side of the story.

It is time to call for a calm, legal, and responsible investigation, and a cooling period to prevent emotional overreactions when careful thought and consideration is required.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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USMCVet

Here’s one of the few times I disagree with Dean: The parents bought a 9mm Sig-Sauer for an underage kid and let him have unrestricted access to it and the ammunition. I have raised four kids, all of them stable, responsible and well-trained with firearms but they NEVER had unrestricted access to a loaded firearm while they were young. I was a Marine, a combat veteran, and firearms safety was central to all of our kid’s training. If they didn’t know that their kid had squirrelly tendencies before that morning, they certainly knew it when they were called to the… Read more »

Ms Pro 2nd Amendment

I find it funny how the media is never held accountable yet they want you to hold the parents/family of the mentally unstable accountable. Lets rest blame where blame starts shall we, at the feet of the liberal/socialist/progressive owned MSM. Yes to a point I agree parents need to be accountable for their child doing this if and I mean if there is proof positive they knew their child was a danger to themselves and others but as a parent who has always been active in their child’s daily life I have to ask how does one miss the signs… Read more »

Chuck

Though I agree with the author, I can already see where this is going. Thank the Media for helping corrupt our Judicial system. The Jury, if this goes to trial, will be under enormous pressure from the community, Politicians, and the Media.

IDK, but the pic of the Crumbley kid smirking in his jail jumpsuit screams Sociopath.

KK

Whatever anyone thinks of a 15 year old and a firearm – all I know is that if I did leave MY 15 year old with access to a firearm, and my 15 year old shot people dead with it in school, I WOULD EXPECT TO BE IN A WORLD OF $HIT!

Dee

Dean you are a coward to even discuss some of the sh!t in this crap you wrote. You mentioned one-sided acts that others can argue. You suck Trump’s duck!! Who cares. No one is interested in your sex life dude. And the fact you mentioned Zimmerman shows you suck dude!!

You getting old. Time to let the writing go. You’re not good at it. Need people out here bringing folks together and not dividing us but you don’t know the difference. Take your ol ass boomer toothless ass away. We had enough!!

willyd

What rock did you crawl out from under? Get a map and find your way back to it!

Russn8r

Iliterate low-IQ DeeMoKKrRat

Ms Pro 2nd Amendment

Corrected post seem above

Last edited 27 days ago by Ms Pro 2nd Amendment
Ms Pro 2nd Amendment

Dee were you triggered by the truth in this article? Dee were you dreaming of sucking Obama and Biden off and projected your desires onto Dean to relay them? You do know that is one of the Democrat’s mantra. #3 When back is to the wall push blame onto others. You the perverted sheeple followed that mantra to the tee.

willyd

This falls on the same in the shooting in Conn years ago, the kid killed his mother, went to the school and killed people and children, then the case was taken to court, and it was the guns fault!!!!! He was a criminal when he killed his mother, he was a criminal when he took her gun, he was a criminal when he went to the school where he murdered those people and children, where is it that it was the gun’s fault????

RayJN

Democrats/liberals/progressives/socialist/communist anti-gunners are not going to let facts get in the way of their agenda.

Deplorable Bill

You are correct Dean, we simply just don’t have the answers, we don’t know all the facts. The only thing that is sure is the kid got hold of a hand gun and shot up the school with it wounding several and killing four. So far, the kid is the only guilty party. It could have been worse. Remember the kid that murdered his mother and then shot up a school full of grade school kids and teachers? That being said, why the school did not search the kid’s backpack IS an issue. There are lots of shudda, coulda, woulda’s… Read more »

Idaho Bob

If the reports are correct, and they appear to be, the kid was being bullied in school on a regular basis. That being the case, the school superintendent, the school board, the principal and many of the teachers are all complicit and culpable in their lack of action to restrain bulling within their school system. Each of them holds responsibility for not ensuring that their school wasn’t a vehicle for harassment and bulling that has now lead to violence.
After all, if the parents are guilty for negligence how can the school not be?

Last edited 28 days ago by Idaho Bob
Jay

If the father did not properly secure the firearm then he needs to share in some of the blame.

Finnky

How does one “properly secure” a firearm? Do you expect everyone to always keep their firearms locked in a safe with trigger locks or the equivalent on each one? Do you also expect that they will keep all ammo separately stored elsewhere under a different lock and key? “Properly secured” is entirely circumstantial. If one is forced to abandon firearm in vehicle, as I have done today, does anything qualify as sufficiently secure? Properly I should probably have disassembled pistol, bringing slide, magazines and all ammo with me past 30.06 sign so as to be legal and secure the tools.… Read more »

Jay

I think you are reading much more into this. I would define properly secured as a gun safe. I could be quick access or not. It should be accessible to the authorized/trained owners. Also, give a pistol to a 15 yr old is the height of irresponsibility especially if the child has exhibited questionable behavior

Wild Bill

It can not be secured and accessible at the same time. Evidently, you expect very little of 15 year-olds.

Finnky

I think YouTube channel is called something like “lock picking lawyer. In any case, he’s got a string of videos showing how easily a five year old (or so) can defeat virtually every common gun-lockbox.
With a bit of imagination and willingness to be destructive, that kid opens ‘safes’ in seconds (<10) which take me a minute using ‘proper’ method.
A determined fifteen year old with sufficient time would be able to break 8nto all but the most secure vaults. Typical fire safe is just a mild challenge.

https://www.youtube.com/c/lockpickinglawyer

Wild Bill

I meant expectations of 15 year olds to properly behave themselves.MC and a Happy New Fifteen Year Old.

Russn8r

If parents raise-create a spoiled &/or psychiatrically-drugged psycho, it reflects a failure of parenting. And failure of schools to check a backpack in a case like this. And schools that push drugs for fraudulent “ADD” diagnoses. And, generally, everyone responsible for deadly “gun free” zones.

The kid should do life, or death penalty.

I don’t advocate prosecuting parents unless they know or should’ve known and turned a blind eye. More like shunning. Keep making excuses for parents who create & pamper little monsters, like the punks at Columbine, then we keep getting Columbines.

Last edited 27 days ago by Russn8r
3l120

If the school had started searching backpacks, we would hear about student rights. Absent overwhelming evidence, to search just his backpack would indicate prejudice against him. No easy way here. Even if the parents had authorized a search, the ACLU would have aided the student in court.

Russn8r

It’s either search backpacks of weirdos, expel/suspend them, or honor the right of civilian teachers & staff to KABA in “gun free” zones.

Last edited 27 days ago by Russn8r
Roland T. Gunner

Assuming it was legal for the teenage sjooter to have access to a firearm in his home, and I believebit was, the parents comitted no crime. The true “smoking gun”, the morbid drawing, was only discovered that morning. It is school officials place to remove little Johnny from school if they think it necessary, and they did not.

Finnky

Is it not illegal under federal law for anyone under 18 to possess a handgun? Speaking in general as I know there are some very specific exemptions – which I’d guess would include supervised training and in-extrema self-defense.

This is one of those things which pissed me off about Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial. Binger saying “why didn’t you just bring a pistol”, as if the hundreds of rioters carrying pistols are a normality to which we should all aspire! When DA is saying – why didn’t you just break the law, because it would have offended my delicate sensibilities less.

jukk0u

In grade school a friend and I would draw elaborate (stick figure) battle scenes, complete with bullets flying and blood spraying. The little figures would scream: “Ar-r-g!” and “I’m hit!” and etc. I’ve never had it in me to shoot anyone and to my knowledge neither did my friend. Conversely, in High School a very quiet, intelligent and charming schoolmate turned into an actual serial killer. Short of the parents handing the kid the gun and telling him to go to school and saying: “go get’em killer!” I have difficulty seeing their complicity. Normalcy bias? yes. Complicity is a stretch.… Read more »

Cruiser

Placing blame on anyone other then the shooter is a never ending story.
Let’s say the shooter was bullied, do we blame the parents of the bully for
for raising him or her? There are usually warning signs, but will go un noticed or disreguarded, where does it begin and end?

Russn8r

We should blame the parents of the bully too. Shunning, not prosecuting.

Vince

If the parents are found to blame, let’s go further. Blame and imprison the politicians who pass obviously unconstitutional laws which result in innocents’ deaths.

musicman44mag

and jail the ones that don’t enforce current law like Joe kamalatoe Obiden.

JSNMGC

You want current gun laws to be enforced?

musicman44mag

I want all constitutional laws to be enforced like aiding and abetting for biden forcing us to take illegals. Criminal prosecution for endangering the public he is supposed to protect wouldn’t hurt my feelings either.

JSNMGC

Do you want current gun laws to be enforced?

Roland T. Gunner

No, repealed.

TStheDeplorable

The parents who gave the pistol to their unstable kid, and the school that failed to send him home after his threatening and unstable acts, share blame. The question is whether it rises beyond civil liability to criminal liability. I think we are foolishly beginning to punish negligence the same as we do intentional bad acts.

gregs

glad you pointed out the way the lying media a.k.a. talking heads have mis-stated (lied) during the reporting of many “news articles”. nick sandman just won another defamation lawsuit. that hasn’t been widely published like the lying video was. when the liars are litigated into bankruptcy, America will be better off. i agree that media contagion is worsening the issue. if the publicity wasn’t provided for them, the incidents would be reduced, everyone wants to be remembered. instead of doing a good job at reporting the news, media people feel the need to be the first to tell what is… Read more »

swmft

you fail to realize they loose in court ,then bankruptcy (court judge only) absolves them of debt “new” owners take over and same old same old

warfinge

It’s crazy times for teens. I was poorly adjusted in school and hated most around me yet I never considered murdering them. I can’t wrap my head around it and so it’s hard to judge the parents. My kneejerk reaction is, these parents are as guilty as the kid and they should serve time as a family but one thing is for sure… people died because of poor parenting. This could be a teachable moment for parents. Being held accountable may prevent thoughtless behavior by other parents.

Last edited 28 days ago by warfinge
crazy joe

THOUGH IT WAS TERRIBLY HORRID IT HAPPENED AND WHY BLAME THE PARENTS? THERE AS MILLIONS OF PARRENTS OUT THERE THAT HAVE MAD THE SAME STUPID CHILD REARING PROBLEMS; SO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO GO BACK AND SUFFEL THEM INTO COURT? THERE IS NOTHER HARDER IN LIFE THAN RAISING A CHILD WITH ALL THIS ODD MINDED INTERNET AND OTHERS LEADING THEM TO DIFFERENT WAY ALL THE TIME. MAYBE THAT IS WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE THERE ACCESS TO THE STUPID LEFT.

Arny

Just curious how do you know it was poor parenting ? I had good parents & still managed to get into trouble. Nothing on the scale of this young man. But if not for luck it’s possible I could have with a vehicle. Not that it would have been intentional. But still could have had some bad consequences.

Last edited 28 days ago by Arny
musicman44mag

Lol, we both know it was the kid not the parents. Just like it’s the person and not the gun.

swmft

parents likely thought it would help his self esteem, look at the targets , likely people who made fun of him or dismissed him.,civics class in school would help. I was the one in school no one knew what to make of ,was not the bullies target because beat the dogshit out of the biggest one first time he started something (was told he committed suicide the night of graduation…he did not graduate) people now tell me i was aloof, I was a self confident teen, both parents military by high school you could drop me anywhere in the world… Read more »

musicman44mag

I disagree. It’s no different than if you buy your teenager a car and he/she is 16 gets drunk and kills someone in an accident. The parents had no control over him/her driving a vehicle while drunk just like the parents could not control their son from taking the gun to school. I think they were not worried about his actions because they were unaware of the situation. I agree that the gun should have been locked up unless they intended him to have access to it like I would want my son or daughter to have access to especially… Read more »

3l120

A lot rides on how much they knew he had “problems”.

Finnky

Seems to me there were parenting issues. Most of us, even those who are ‘good’ parents, lack knowledge or how kids interact these days. Good parents work and have lives of their own, leading by example how to be good people. As working adults we have limited time. Plus you need to let your kids be independent young or they will never learn self responsibility. Thus for those who scream “do something” – I suggest creating (voluntary) parenting classes to help busy parents learn how to better interact with or understand their surly children. Teen boys tend to be withdrawn… Read more »

USMCVet

We have a society that is trying to take the responsibility for raising children away from us – trying to inclucate them with Left/Pervert values like “gender disphoria”, anti religious propaganda, Critical Race Theory, and socialism and they think that we have no rights or responsibilties as parents over our own kids. We are fighting back, all over the country, to preserve our right to guide our children as we must, without their polluting our kids with their skewed and antiAmerican values. But these two parents gave their kid a semiauto firearm and didn’t properly secure it – now four… Read more »

Montana454Casull

Yes they raised him and purchased they weapon he used to commit several crimes . He could not purchase the weapon on his own . Yes they have responsibility in the out come due to thier contribution of the handgun they purchased and gave to him to commit the crimes he committed .

Arny

They surely hold some responsibility. But from what I read the firearm was secure in a safe. Would you feel the same had it been one of yours ? And you believed to have done what you thought was right. Just count your blessings none of your children felt the need to do as this young man. If I remember correctly didn’t you give your children guns ? Or do I have your comment confused with someone else ? I had a 12 gauge at 11 yrs old. Never felt the need to use it on someone. Even when bullied… Read more »

musicman44mag

Wow, we must have went to the same school and were both raised by the same type of parents. Things were better and made more sense in the old days.

swmft

legal responsibility no moral responsibility yes, they will always feal they have a scarlet letter

musicman44mag

If that is the case, then the school administrator that was responsible for contacting the police department that didn’t and the person that said it was ok to release him back into the school population and the person that was responsible for checking the back pack and locker that didn’t should all be held accountable too because the contributed to the shooting..